An appeal to CEE Prime Ministers to go for higher climate ambition

Climate action

With this appeal, we would like to turn to you ahead of the European Council on 15-16 October that will be decisive for European climate ambition and the Green Recovery of our economies.

Especially due to a common history of the last decades, countries of Central and Eastern Europe face similar economic and environmental development challenges, such as the heritage of post-Socialist-era heavy industry collapse as well as the need for significant investments to enable the structural transformations that are necessary to implement ambitious climate action in line with the Paris Agreement. Even if our countries currently respond differently to the COVID-19 crisis and to the European Green Deal initiative, the core interest of our societies is very similar. Over the past six months of the pandemic, hundreds of thousands of citizens, experts, academics, civil society actors and artists etc. have called for economic and social renewal along common human and European values, including climate awareness at national and European levels. With this appeal, we would like to reinforce these earlier initiatives and highlight the need to ensure that all spending under the EU budget, and the EU Cohesion Policy and Just Transition Fund in particular, needs to be climate-proof and boost the transition towards climate neutrality, in the interest of Central European societies and economies.

The next decade will be crucial for taking necessary action to avoid even worse climate change impacts in the near future, as climate change impacts are already hitting our region the hardest in Europe. Taking into account other ecological challenges (biodiversity loss, water shortages) the need to develop comprehensive strategies on how to take care of people and the environment is more crucial and urgent than ever. Only by increasing climate action now, we may avoid the most severe extreme weather impacts such as substantial decline of crop yields, increased water distress, heat wave frequency and severity, expected to cause EU welfare losses of 175 billion EUR per year. We are alarmingly off track with the Paris Agreement goal to limit temperature rise to 1.5°C, and are heading towards a world that is 3-4 degrees Celsius hotter than pre-industrial levels by the end of this century with current unsustainable policies. It is therefore crucial for the EU to fully act on its commitment under the Paris Agreement.

We cannot exit from the current economic crisis by deepening other existing ones. We need reforms and smart policy that can effectively address the multiple economic, health and climate crises at the same time. The Central European region cannot lag behind anymore in this process, and there is growing support for much more ambitious climate action and a more sustainable economic model in our countries – Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia. 

Now, just before the European Council on 15-16 October that shall address enhancing the EU 2030 climate target, with Member States currently drafting their national Recovery and Resilience Plans as well as their EU funds spending plans, it is a pivotal moment for ambitious climate action both at European and national levels. This is why we, as representatives of the Central European civil society, businesses, cities and local and regional initiatives, and academia are calling on you to engage in a just and fair green economic recovery that would:

  • Ensure that EU climate action is in line with the 1.5°C goal of the Paris Agreement by supporting the increase of the EU climate target to at least 65% emission reductions, compared to 1990 levels;
  • Make the European Green Deal, the EU budget and Member States’ recovery and climate strategies ambitious and coherent by ensuring that EU taxpayers’ money and investments are driving climate action as much as possible;
  • Enhance social justice while combating the climate and other ecological crises we are facing;
  • Be based on a deep re-thinking of our current economic model to make it compatible with climate protection and social justice, instead of quick fixes;
  • Create quality, stable and healthy jobs and push for innovations to serve us and future generations, and build prospects for a sustainable future;
  • Include public support for policies and projects that combine climate action with improving air, water and soil quality, public services such as health care and education;
  • Develop energy efficiency measures and support for renewable energy sources, sustainable transportation and mobility, and focus on agriculture and food;
  • Place European values, democracy and solidarity in its core; improve participation and transparency in designing overarching policies and particular solutions.

Comprehensive green recovery strategies and particular solutions are already there, developed and supported by various stakeholders and civil society. Recovery packages and financial stimulus measures that are being prepared by the European Union and Member States provide a unique opportunity to focus on the social and economic co-benefits of ambitious climate action, also for the Central European region.

Yours sincerely,
Radostina Slavkova, ЕА Za Zemiata/ Friends of the Earth-Bulgaria
Barbora Valešová, Czech Climate Coalition
Alexa Botár, NSC-Friends of the Earth Hungary
Urszula Stefanowicz, Polish Climate Coalition
Raul Cazan, 2CELSIUS, Romania
Liliana Rástocká, Slovak Climate Initiative

On behalf of over 180 organisations from Bulgaria, Czech Rep., Hungary, Poland, Romania and Slovakia.

Environmental Association Za Zemiata / Friends of the Earth Bulgaria / Екологично сдружение “За Земята”
Greenpeace CEE – Bulgaria / “Грийнпийс” България
BlueLink Foundation / Фондация “БлуЛинк”
Bobov dol Municipality / Община Бобов дол
Klub 8 Ltd/ Magazine 8 / Клуб 8 ООД/ издател на Списание 8
Shtastlivetsa Sofia Civic Association / Софийско гражданско сдружение “Щастливеца”
Regional Economic Development Agency of Stara Zagora / Агенция за регионално икономическо развитие – Стара Загора
Gorichka / Горичка
Bulgarian Photovoltaic Association / Българска фотоволтаична асоциация
Ecological Manifesto – ManEco / Екологичен манифест – МанЕко
Bulgarian Environmental Partnership Foundation / Фондация “ЕкоОбщност”

Czech Republic
Nádech z.s.
Chebsko for Climate / Chebsko za klima, z.s.
Doctors for future, Czech republic / Doctors for future, Česká republika
Parents for future, Czech republic
Centre for Transport and Energy / Centrum pro dopravu a energetiku, z.s.
Czech for Climate / Česko za klima, z.s.
PILGRIM – University of Nature / PILGRIM – Potulná univerzita přírody
Network of ecological counseling STEP / Síť ekologických poraden STEP, the national section of the European Association /, národní sekce evropské asociace
Extinction Rebellion Czech Republic / Extinction Rebellion Czech Republic – Rebelie proti vyhynutí, z.s.
NESEHNUTÍ – Independent Social Ecological Movement
Na mysli, z.ú.
Climate Coalition Olomouc / Klimatická koalice Olomouc
Faculty of Environment, Jan Evangelista Purkyně University / Fakulta životního prostředí, Univerzita Jana Evangelisty Purkyně
Calla – Association for Preservation of the Environment / Calla – Sdružení pro záchranu prostředí
Parents for Climate Liberec / Rodiče za klima Liberec, z. s.
Slušná firma, z.s.
Juniperia, z.s.
JRK Czech republic / JRK Česká republika s.r.o.
CZ Biom z.s.
Limity jsme my
EkoWATT CZ s. r. o.
EkoWATT z. s. / EkoWATT z. s., Středisko pro obnovitelné zdroje a úspory energie
Czech Environmental Partnership Foundation / Nadace Partnerství
Institute for Circular Economy / Institut Cirkulární Ekonomiky
Fair Venture s.r.o.
Institute of Anxiety / Institut úzkosti
ARE | z. s.
Czechia Against Poverty and Inequality / Česko proti chudobě a nerovnostem
Hnutí DUHA – Friends of the Earth Czech Republic / Hnutí DUHA – Přátelé země
Chemické divadlo, z.s.
Ecological Institute Veronica / Ekologický institut Veronica (ZO ČSOP Veronica)
Tři Ocásci sou družstvo. Sociální družstvo!
Greenpeace Czech Republic / Greenpeace Česká republika
MAK! / MAK! (mobilní architektonická kancelář)
UM UM Community Festival of Contemporary Theatre and Arts / UM UM o.z.
Líšeň Sobě z. s.
Centre for Experimental Theatre / Centrum experimentálního divadla, p. o. (Divadlo Husa na provázku, HaDivadlo, Terén)
Universities for climate / Univerzity za klima
Flash Art
Lipka – školské zařízení pro environmentální vzdělávání Brno / Lipka
Malvazinky Patriots / Přátelé Malvazinek, z.s.
The Bearable Living in the Center of Prague association / Snesitelné bydlení v centru Prahy, z.s.
C2c – circle of curators and critics / C2c – kruh kurátorů a kritiků, z.s.
Fridays For Future Czech Republic / Fridays For Future Česká republika
Society and Economy Trust / Trast pro ekonomiku a společnost
Etc. galerie / Etc. gallery
Ateliér Intermédií FaVU VUT / Intermedia Studio FaVU VUT
Punctum, z.s.
Geisslers Hofcomoedianten, z. s.
ZO ČSOP Morava
Faculty of Arts and Architecture, Technical University of Liberec / Fakulta umění a architektury, Technická univerzita v Liberci
Art for climate / Umění pro klima
Entrance Gallery / Galerie Entrance
Studio New Media2, AVU / Ateliér Nová Média 2, AVU
35M2 gallery /Galerie 352M
Flora Theatre Festival, z.s.
Platform for Social Housing / Platforma pro sociální bydlení
Czech Union for Nature Conservation – Environmental Service Organization / ČSOP Ekologická servisní organizace
Palm Oil Watch International / Koalice proti palmovému oleji
Jindřich Chalupecký Society / Společnost Jindřicha Chalupeckého
Centre for Contemporary Art FUTURA / Centrum současného umění FUTURA
Czech Climate Coalition / Klimatická koalice

Climate Reality Europe

NSC-FoE Hungary / Magyar Természetvédők Szövetsége (MTVSZ)
Green Connection Association / Zöld Kapcsolat Egyesület
Energiaklub Climate Policy Institut / Energiaklub Egyesület
Hungarian Energy Efficiency Institute (MEHI) / Magyar Energiahatékonysági Intézet (MEHI)
Clean Air Action Group / Levegő Munkacsoport
Hungarian PV and Solar Collector Association / Magyar Napelem Napkollektor Szövetség
WWF Hungary / WWF Magyarország
Hungarian Climate Alliance / Éghajlatvédelmi Szövetség
Environmental Planning and Education Network / Környezeti Tervezési és Nevelési Hálózat
Energy Efficient Wekerle Civic Society / Energiahatékony Wekerle Civil Társaság
Protect the Future Association / Védegylet Egyesület
KÖVET Association for Sustainable Economies / KÖVET Egyesület a Fenntartható Gazdaságért
GreenDependent Institute / GreenDependent Intézet
Women for Balaton Association / Nők a Balatonért Egyesület
Peter Beretzk Nature Protection Club / Beretzk Péter Természetvédelmi Klub
Green Circle of Pecs / Pécsi Zöld Kör
Green Action Association / Zöld Akció Egyesület
Green Circle / Zöld Kör
TU Budapest Green Circle / BME Zöld Kör
Environmental Management and Law Association / Környezeti Management és Jog Egyesület
Extinction Rebellion Hungary / Extinction Rebellion Magyarország
Refllex Environmental Association / Refllex Környezetvédő Egyesület
Consultants for Sustainable Development / Tanácsadók a Fenntartható Fejlődésért
Tree of Life Environmental Protection Association / Életfa Környezetvédő Szövetség
Magosfa Foundation for Environmental Education and Ecotourism / Magosfa Környezeti Nevelési és Ökoturisztikai Alapítvány
CSEMETE Association Of Nature And Environmental Protection / CSEMETE Természet- és Környezetvédelmi Egyesület
Greenpeace Hungary / Greenpeace Magyarország Egyesület
Serpentes Foundation / Serpentes Alapítvány
Hydra Nature Protection and Youth Association / Hidra Természetvédelmi és Ifjúsági Egyesület
CEEweb for Biodiversity / CEEweb a Biológiai Sokféleségért

Institute for Sustainable Development Foundation / Instytut na rzecz Ekorozwoju
WWF Poland / Fundacja WWF Polska
The Ecological Association EKO-UNIA / Stowarzyszenie Ekologiczne EKO-UNIA
Cycling Lublin’ Association / Stowarzyszenie “Rowerowy Lublin”
Towarzystwo na Rzecz Ochrony Przyrody
Institute for Urban Actions / Fundacja Instytut Działań Miejskich
The Centre for Environmental Activities “Zrodla” / Ośrodek Działań Ekologicznych “Źródła”
Earth and Us Centre of Ecological Education / Ziemia i My Centrum Edukacji Ekologicznej
Polish Green Network / Polska Zielona Sieć
Stowarzyszenie Pracownia na rzecz Wszystkich Istot
Urban Movements Congress / Kongres Ruchów Miejskich
Foundation of the Centre for Research and Protection of the Human Environment “HABITAT” / Fundacja Centrum Badań i Ochrony Środowiska Człowieka”HABITAT” Poland
Polish Green Building Council / Polskie Stowarzyszenie Budownictwa Ekologicznego
Fundacja “Rozwój TAK – Odkrywki NIE”
Polish Ecological Club Mazovian Branch / Polski Klub Ekologiczny Okręg Mazowiecki
Norden Centrum Scientific Foundation / Fundacja Naukowa Norden Centrum
alter eko foundation / Fundacja alter eko
Society for Nature and Man / Twarzystwo dla Natury i Człowieka
Compassion in World Farming Poland / Fundacja Compassion in World Farming Polska
Global Action Plan Poland / Fundacja GAP Polska
Society for the Earth / Towarzystwo na rzecz Ziemi
Institute of Public Affairs / Instytut Spraw Publicznych
Greenpeace CEE Poland / Fundacja Greenpeace Polska
Young for Climate Poland / Stowarzyszenie Młodzi dla Klimatu
Common Thing Foundation / Fundacja Rzecz Społeczna

2Celsius / Asociația 2Celsius
Greenpeace CEE Romania
Kogayon Association / Asociatia Kogayon
WWF Romania
Bankwatch Romania / Asociația Bankwatch România
National Alliance of Student Organizations in Romania / Alianța Națională a Organizațiilor Studențești din România
Romanian Youth Council / Consiliul Tineretului din România

Youth for Climate / Mladí za klímu
Students without a name / Študenti bez mena
Slovak Climate Initiative / Slovenská klimatická iniciatíva
Friends of the Earth Slovakia – CEPA / Priatelia Zeme – CEPA
Buildings for Future / Budovy pre budúcnosť
Slovak Association of Photovoltaic Industry / Slovenská asociácia fotovoltického priemyslu a OZE (SAPI)
Greenpeace CEE Slovakia / Greenpeace Slovensko
Otherness Initiative / Iniciatíva Inakosť
Center of Environmental Activities / Centrum environmentálnych aktivít
People in Need Slovakia / Človek v ohrození, n.o.
ZO6 SNLP Bratislava / ZO6 SZOPK Bratislava
Civic initiative for preservation of environment / Občianska iniciatíva za zachovanie ŽP
Human Rights League Slovakia / Liga za ľudské práva
Freedom of Choice / Možnosť voľby
Society for Sustainable Life / Spoločnosť pre trvalo udržateľný život (STUŽ)
Passive House Institute Slovakia / Inštitút pre pasívne domy
SOSNA association / SOSNA, o.z.
No Time to Lose / Nestrácajme čas
Slatinka Association / Združenie Slatinka
Ekopolis Foundation / Nadácia Ekopolis
Center for Philanthropy / Centrum pre filantropiu n.o.
Institute for Public Affairs / Inštitút pre verejné otázky
Bratislava fotogenic / Bratislava fotogenická
Carpathian Foundation / Karpatská nadácia
Institute for the Circular Economy / Inštitút cirkulárnej ekonomiky, o.z.
Blue Lemons s.r.o
SUSTO – Sustainability Tools
Good years 50plus / Dobré roky 50plus
Climate needs you / Klíma ťa potrebuje
Academia Istropolitana Nova / Academia Istropolitana Nova
Rainbow PRIDE Bratislava / Dúhový PRIDE Bratislava
Green Foundation / Green Foundation, nadácia
Natura Rusovce
Open Society Foundation / Nadácia otvorenej spoločnosti
So us – WOMEN / Žemy
Sustainability Platform / Platforma udržateľnosti
Consumer protection organisation (S.O.S.) Poprad / Spoločnosť ochrany spotrebiteľov (S.O.S) Poprad
Phoenix / Občianske združenie Phoenix – Phoenix Polgári Társulás
Fridays for Future Slovakia / Fridays for Future Slovensko
OZ Liptov activists LIPA / OZ Liptovskí aktivisti LIPA
Kapital / Kapitál


Links to the national versions of the appeal:
Czech Rep.:



Selected green recovery initiatives: